By Katherine Massey
Screams of anguish from family members bent over in shock and grief! Increasingly, this is the painful snapshot on the TV news (in Buffalo and many cities across the US) due to their loved ones — infants to grandparents — lost in the rampage of gun murders.
Evidence of the major contributing factor is obvious. It’s the ultra easy access to firearms. However, methods and motions to arrest the spread of them are unsuccessful from their huge deficiency. In Buffalo, examples are the guns-buy-back initiatives and Tip Line that many are afraid to use, since they are distrustful of confidentiality. (A better, perhaps creative way has to be provided for citizens to comfortably report helpful information to the Police Department.)
It’s inconceivable major illegal gun dealers are elusive and figuratively Teflon-coated, in a country that has GPS which can track a gnat and satellites capable of listening to someone’s whisper from outer space. Also, paltry legislation mandating stricter registration and background checks for buyers of legal guns is unmindful of the flood of “illegal” guns that are raining death on our community. An apparent necessity is the application of similar vigor, government investment of substantial funding and breath of concerted efforts in addressing the deadly issue as the opioid problem is receiving.
There isn’t an unrealistic expectation for Buffalo Police Department detectives to be Columbo(s), however, the dismally small numbers of solved murders for several years (low in comparison to many cities) is unacceptable. For years, it has not been a secret there is a shortfall of African American detectives. It’s time to increase the numbers, substantially. Their perspective and first-hand knowledge of our community, where the majority of the gun deaths are occurring, can be essential assets which need to be enlisted for solving those crimes.
I’m wondering if an increasing lack of connection to the Higher Power, especially among numbers of youth, is producing cold-hearted, individuals. Prayer was kicked out of schools and the guidance of the Ten Commandments is almost obsolete. Mostly older adults are publicly praying for God Almighty’s assistance in stopping the violence. May those ongoing prayers be answered.